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> Celtic History, A story for lovers of Celtic History
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gandolf3339 
Posted: 17-Nov-2008, 01:11 PM
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I deleted this story at first because I do not know if it holds any historical fact, I have tried to do more research and so far I have had little luck, I stated in my first posting that it is a story and a story I would like to share with the players in MK, it has no aurthor's name on it, so here go's !

Celtic History
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THE DAWNTIME


The history of the Celtic people is quite a long one, ranging from the initial tribes of Celts back in Sigmar's time to the present day. The origins are very shady and hard to find exactly what happened, as a lot of the Celtic mythology is mixed in with the historical fact of what the Celts call the Dawntime, when Tír na nÓg was formed. The best sources of what happened are The Táin and the Sacred Texts of the Dawntime. These manuscripts tell of the oldest heroes and the formation of Celtic society, whether they are completely trustworthy is unsure. According to the Táin, the origins of the first Celts can be dated back to the Tuatha Dé Dannan, a clan of Celt like people who lived in the Grey Mountains. Further North, past the Grey mountains in the area which today is known as the Reikland lived a similar tribe who shared many customs and traditions with the Tuatha Dé Dannan and were called the Nemedians after their great leader Nemed.

On the year 100 before the formation of the Empire, Nuada, the legendary leader of the Tuatha Dé Dannnan, was roaming the forests f his demesne on his own. Although he believed he was on completely safe from intruders in this forest, a mysterious shadowy figure approached him and beckoned him to follow. The figure moved very quickly through the woods, and Nuada had to run to keep up with him. Eventually they reached a clearing and the figure stopped and turned around, and Nuada could see it clearly. Initially he was frightened and wanted to run or attack, because the figure looked like some twisted Goblin or some spawn of Chaos. It was like a Centaur with four legs and an animal body but with a humanoid torso and arms at the front. He was mostly green with dark-grey smooth skin. He had large scales over his armidilloe like body, and had not a single hair on his head. "Do not be afraid "the creature whispered, barely moving his lips "I am a Zoat, one of the holy creatures of the goddess sent to tell you of your fate." Nuada listened intently as the zoat told him of the oncoming Empire, that would unify the tribes of man into one united empire under his leadership. The tribes of Nuada's race could not join this Empire as their destiny lied along another path, they were different, the sacred race of the goddess, and would have to be led to their real home. The Zoat told him of The land of the Young, a group of islands off the mainland to the North-West and that he must lead his tribe there. Nuada did not no what to say, and before he could put a word in edgeways, the Zoat darted off through the woods and was never seen again.

At first Nuada hesitated for a few years, as he did not feel he could trust the mysterious visitor, and his advisors told him not to trust this probable spawn of chaos. Even so, it built up in the back of his mind, and constantly niggled at him. In his heart he knew he had to leave, and two years later he mustered the clan Dé Dannan and headed off to find a new home.

After wandering across what is in modern days Bretonia, they gathered a fleet of ships and set sail for the islands that the zoat had told Nuada about. At first they completely went the wrong way and ended up in Norsca. They stayed here for a few years but Nuada knew that this was not their spiritual home. They left and eventually found Alba, and Nuada found it to his liking. He knew he had finally found the land of the young. After 15 years of living in alba, he left some of his clan behind and crossed the channel of water and arrived in Eriu. By the bank of the river Boyne the clan Dé Dannan settled and prospered for many years.

While Nuada and the Tuatha Dé Dannan where settling in at the Boyne valley, a tribe of Celtic like people who already lived in Eriu, the Portholóin, were preparing for war. To the North of Eriu lay a small island, known as Tory island. On this island was a gateway between worlds, a gateway to the place the Celts call the el worlds, a spiritual land where both the gods and demons live. A race of such Demons, the fomorians, were hardly known to the rest of the Old World because they spent most of their time harrassing Eriu and trying to enslave its population. They were known as Sea Demons, large green or brown monsters that were largely deformed in human terms of view and were fierce and brutal warriors. At this time they inhabited the whole Northern half of Eriu, the present day tuathamhóir of Ulster. And so the Portholóin clan were readying to launch a massive assault against the fomorians to get them out of Eriu. They met the Cessair clan, another tribe that had arrived in Eriu who had come from Albion, and together they succeeded in driving the fomorians away.

About twenty years later, the Nemedians saw that the whole time the tuatha Dé Dannan were right as they saw the hero Sigmar was uniting the tribes of men, and under Nemed the clan journeyed to Eriu. But when they got near in their fleet of ships, a surprise attack of a
large fomorian fleet destroyed half the ships and they were lucky to get any of them to safety. In the battle, Nemed was killed by the fomorian leader, Connan and Nemed's son Fergus demanded vengeance. Together with the newly found friends of the portholóin clan and the tuatha Dé Dannan, they mounted a large assault on tory island where Connan had his large fortress. The tribes overwhelmed the fortress guard and Fergus killed Connan in a mighty duel. With the death of Connan, the fomorians couldn't cope and they fled through the gateway back to the El Worlds. The tribes were happy and lived in peace together in different parts of Eriu and Alba.

Ten Years later in the Empire, Sigmar with the aid of the dwarves finally drove off the marauding orc and goblin hordes and united the tribes of the Old World into one Empire. In that same year, a large event happened in the Celtic lands. Lured under the false pretenses of an emergency, the chieftains of the Dé Dannan, Portholóin, Cessair and Nemedian clans were drawn to a hill called Uisneach in the middle of Eriu. Baffled at what had happened, and trying to retrace their steps to see who had caused this, in case it might be a fomorian ambush, the four leaders discussed amongst themselves. And as if an answer to their problems, five of the mythical creatures that Nuada had called zoats came out of the woods. While the other leaders stood baffled, Nuada stepped forward and greeted them in the tongue of his clan. The Zoats made them sit down and for forty-eight hours non-stop they taught the chieftains of Tír na nÓg of who they were, who the Gods were, what the gods wanted them to do and how they all should live as one nation. The scribes who had come with the lords hurriedly scribbled down everything the zoats said, and these texts are still preserved today and are known as the sacred writings of the dawntime. The zoats told them of Lugh, the sun god, of Danu the goddess of the earth and her three different forms, of magic and how to use it, and the way of life that they should live by. After forty eight hours, the zoats said they must leave and informed them to study what they had said and to return after 6 months. As quick as lightning, the zoats disappeared back into the woods.

All four of the chieftains, including Nuada, were blown away and did not know how to react. They quietly left and went back to their homes and most spent the whole six months reading over everything the zoats had said and trying to live life the way the zoats said it should be lived. After six months they all returned and signed a binding agreement that they would unite their clans as one nation with no one ruler. The zoats kept on teaching them and instructed them to build a holy city called Tara at the hill of Uisneach. This they did and they all lived there together, ruling their clans from the city of Tara. On and off the zoats returned, teaching them of the gods, teaching them a common language and a way of writing. They initiated a Cult of druids, these druids became teachers of the holy way and learned how to channel the magical energy of the gods through them, priests in one sense and wizards in another.

And so the basis of Celtic society was gradually formed, and many druids and teachers spread across the land to teach the way of the Gods to the people.
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stevenpd 
Posted: 17-Nov-2008, 02:22 PM
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No need to stop the topic. It is more appropriate in the Medieval Gateway.


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stevenpd 
Posted: 17-Nov-2008, 03:24 PM
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Why delete the topic? There was nothing wrong with it.
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gandolf3339 
Posted: 18-Nov-2008, 01:41 PM
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NUADA OF THE SILVER-ARM

Twenty-nine years later, when most of Eriu was peaceful and calm, the fomorians returned to harrass the celts. But this time they found a united kingdom that was strong and poweful. However there was some unrest within the kingdom as the small Fír Bolg clan was demanding thier chieftain to be given the same respect and rights as the other four chieftains. Under the new law this was not permitted and the Fír bolg was prepared to go to war about it. They first attacked the lands of the Dé Dannan clan, and Nuada, now an old man, mustered his army to put out this little civil war. At the place known as Moy Tura below the forest of Choillmharnach the two armies met and faught large battle. The tuatha Dé Dannan were victorious but lost a lot of men, and Nuada himself lost his arm in the fight. Under one of the strange provisions of the new Brehon laws, a warrior chieftain couldn't rule if he was mutilated in any way (this often resulted in enemies or relations purposely mutilating chieftains), and Nuada was forced to abdicate.

In his stead, his Nephew Breas became chieftain and ruled over the clan. However Breas was a tyrannical ruler and did not rule with generosity and kindness that was demanded of a Celtic chieftain. He gave in to the new fomorian oppression, rather than fight and defend his clan like a true Celtic sun hero. The fomorians put immense pressure on the tuatha Dé Dannan and they were forced to pay huge taxes to the fomorians. Meanwhile, Nuada couldn't stand staying around and watching Breas destroy his kingdom, so he left to wander Eriu. He eventually found the great forest of choillmharnach that was on the edge of his old lands. He travelled for days into the centre of the wood and eventually he stumbled on a small wooded village where a band of zoats lived. They explained to him that he was the rightfull ruler and the gods hadn't intended for Breas to rule. He was then visited by Dianceacht, the god of healing who gradually restored his arm for him. Over seven years he grew back and arm of silver that heis legendary for having. On the seventh year, his arm was fully healed and he prayed to Dianceacht and then rode back to the tuatha Dé Dannan to be restored as king.

The clan rejoiced as Nuada returned with a new silver arm and seemed to have the strength of his youth back with him. He denied the fomor taxes and mustered his army ready for war. At the second bloody battle of Moy tura, the small Dé Dannan army defeated the large fomorian force in a bloody and savage battle. Half of the Dé Dannan army were killed including Nuada himself. The clan were freed and began to live life again, and they buried Nuada in a massive passage tomb along in the valley of the Boyne river. Nuada had died in battle at the age of 156 and although this may not be historical fact, it shows that the Celts lived a lot longer than other men, while in Tír na nÓg. The fomorians that were left retreated back to Tory island and started plotting revenge and made a secret pact with the Chaos Gods for help.

The Celtic people lived in normal peace wihout any oppression from enemies for a long while after that, but were without a great leader like Nuada for nearly one hundred and fifty years. This new great leader was Sláine MacRoth.


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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 19-Nov-2008, 09:49 AM
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Gandolf3339,

I really enjoy reading this story for in reality it is the History and Mythology of the Celts which I find most interesting.Though it is complicated as all the history of mythology of any civilization but very educating.

I will look forward the next part.

Thank you,
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valpal59 
Posted: 19-Nov-2008, 10:06 AM
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Gandolf3339,
Thank-you for posting this story. I am fascinated with history. I look forward to the rest of the story.

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gandolf3339 
Posted: 19-Nov-2008, 12:14 PM
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I am glad you are all enjoying this thread and I have been doing more reaserch, so this thread can last a very long time if all would like.
I have been very interested in mythology for most of my life mainly Greek and Roman, but with my Irish roots I am totaly loving this, I never new Irish mythology was so expansive.
Thank you again and I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I have been enjoying the research and posting it.

Now for episode 3.
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gandolf3339 
Posted: 19-Nov-2008, 12:18 PM
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The tale of Sláine

Sláine was born to the Cessair clan in the Imperial year of 185. He wasn't noble-born and was a strong and handsome young lad. He could fight better than any other lad his age and his reputation quickly spread. He was disowned at the age of 16 when he slept with one of the chieftain's own concubines and was cast out of the clan. He was forced to roam the land as a travelling mercenary, and he fell in with a twisted dwarf companion named Ukko. He travelled south pas the areas of Cil Mhaintáin and eventually reached the great inland lake, loch Mheasa. There he had a vision from the Gods and was brought to their kingdom in the El worlds. In their sacred hall, the Sun God Lugh informed him that he was to be the High King of Tír na nÓg, and Sláine laughed at the idea in response. Not caring, Lugh told him that he must collect the four magical treasures of Tír na nÓg that Nuada never collected. Out of a crystal door came the father God, Dagda who gave Sláine one of the magical treasures, the cauldron of Dagda that would feed anyone who came before it. Slaine was startled and before he could think of something to say the vision faded and he was back by the lake in the physical world holding the Cauldron of Dagda and facing a barrage of questions from the puzzled Ukko. Sláine did not want to betray the Gods and so set out to find the treasures of Tír na nÓg, first by heading back to his clan.

While Sláine was wandering in exile, his cousin Ragall had become the chieftain of the Cessair clan and was a charchter much like Breas. On the winter beforehand, the fomorians had returned in great numbers and Ragall stood down, accepting their enslavement and paying their large taxes. A large disgusting fomorian who looked like a giant fish was set to constantly stay at the chieftain's court and collect the taxes. If the taxes were not paid by an individual he would cut their nose off, and if they failed a second time he would kill them and rob all their possesions. Ragall was fearing Samhain (November), the start of the Celtic year, when the fomorian enslavers demanded two thirds of the whole clan's money, crops and livestock be offered to them as a sign of fealty. The clan were extremely poor as it was and had little to live on, most were poor and had little crops to feed on, let alone pay the taxes. Ragall's new wife, Megrim was controlling the kingdom through the broken man and she was secretly a witch-priestess, a worshipper of the worm god Crom-Cruach (It is possible that Crom-Cruach and Nurgle are the same God from the two different mythologies). By the Brehon laws, a chieftain had to rule atleast for seven years before he could volunntarily abdicate, and if he wanted to step down before the first seven years then he would have to be ritually sacrificed. Ragall could not take the situation anymore and chose to be sacrificed. Megrim was furious, as the lands would not be handed down to her that way. In a ritual sacrifice, whoever the chieftain's blood trickled towards was destined by the gods to become the new chieftain. That was one of the only ways for a common-born to become chieftain. As Cathbad, the high druid slit his throat, the followers of the clan gathered round him in the morbid hope that they would be the next chieftain. The blood trickled away from all of them to a gap in the circle. And just when everyone started cursing the Gods, Sláine came up the hill and the blood rolled to his feet. The crowd cheered at their returned hero who was the new chieftain, and in his dying moments Ragall apologised to Sláine for what he had done to the clan. That night for the first time in years they had a huge feast, the largest feast in the whole kingdom due to the cauldron of Dagda. The tax collector was beheaded and his large fish like head was stuck on a spear and put in front of the clan's dún as a warning to any fomorians.

After a long and ardous task, Sláine gathered the four treasured items of Tír na nÓg; the Cauldron of Dagda,The Spear of the Sun, the Sword of the Moon and Lia Fáil, the stone of destiny. He already had the Cauldron of Dagda, and he set out getting the Spear of the Sun and the Sword of the Moon from the chieftains that possesed them. The Sword of the Moon is a giant rending blade that can kill the mightiest foe with one blow, which Sláine got from King Gann. The Spear of the Sun is Lugh's own mighty weapon that when released you can name a target and it will fly from your hands and plunge into your opponent, killing it instantly. Reluctantly King Rudraige handed over the Spear and slaine went in search of the Stone of Destiny. When Sláine finally found it it was in the hands of the avanc, the last of a race of monstrous beaver folk and Sláine had to kill it to get the stone. The stoneis said in the ancient legends to shriek out a long wailing note if the rightfull High King of Tír na nÓg stands on it with the other four treasured items.

And so he had all the treasures, and he summoned the four chieftains to the hill Uisneach in Tara, also kown as Bolg Danu, the Belly of the Goddess. On its summit was placed the Stone of Destiny and before the stone was placed the Cauldron of Dagda. Each of the four Chieftains took their turn at standing on it with the Sword and the Spear but nothing happened until Sláine stood on it. The stone shrieked like a banshee, and out of the Cauldron came the Goddess Danu herself, in the form of Blodwuedd, the maiden. Holding a massive Crowned Helm, she crowned Sláine the first High King of Tír na nÓg, the king if kings.

Slaine was a good and fair High King and ruled with a concious mind. Although he was High King he still recognised the chieftains of the clans as rulers of thier kingdoms. But the peaceful reign did not last long as war with the Fomorians was inevitable. This time the fomorians had made a pact with the Drune Lords (the Celts called the Chaos Lords of the North Drune Lords). Leading the army was Balor of the evil eye, a Drune Lord who worshipped the darkest of Gods and came from the wastes of the North. He got his name from his left eye which was nearly always close. If he opened the eye it would be lethal to anyone in his glare, a thin beam of dark magic that destroyed anything in its path. Together with fomorian allies, Balor prepared a massive invasion of the Old World through Eriu, where the other nations of the Old World would not notice the horde approaching. Fortunately for the races of men that the Drune Lords completely underestimated the Celts under High King Sláine.

Sláine, the High King
After three massive battles against the Drune Lords, the Celts pushed them back and eventually they fled. During the battles Sláine went into a battle frenzy, calling the bloodlust of the Goddess onto his body and he slew over a hundred fomorians on his own in the space of ten minutes. In the last battle, Slaine faced Balor in single combat. Balor thought Sláine would be an easy kill, but his underestimation was his undoing. He believed the Celts to be a stupid and savage race and when he open his eye, he fired the beam of pure dark magic at Sláine but Slaine was prepared and used the Sword of the Moon to stop the Ray and reflect it back at Balor, killing himself. When Balor died, he exploded in a blast of Dark Magic that Sláine was lucky to escape from and all that was left behind was a large crater that filled up with water and is known today as Loch na Súil (lake of the eye) near the border of Chonnacht and Ulster.

After the defeat of the Fomor, who fled back to the El Worlds, the Clets lived in a time of prosperity where feasts and merry-making was common. However Sláine was often unhappy because the woman he loved, Níamh was married to King Rudraige. Níamh was the king's concubine who Sláine originally dishonoured and unbeknownst to him, she was pregnant and when he returned Sláine was ready to start a new life with her and their little son Kai. However Níamh still hated Sláine and no matter how much he tried she just ran away from him, and eventually she had a marriage of convenience with Rudraige of the portholóin. In her hatred of Sláine she sent their son Kai to train to be a druid so that he would never succeed Sláine as the High King. Two years after the defeat of Balor, Megrim, who's real name was Medb tried to assasinate Sláine, but he was saved just in time by Níamh who realised what Medb was up to.

After about ten years, Slaine eventually married the fair maiden Nest, who loved him dearly and she became Queen. Although he did love her and had a peaceful marriage with her, he was still distraught because Níamh hated him so much. It was then another six years till another Assasination attempt happened and this time it unfortunately succeeded. Medb broke free from her prison and enscorcelled the young kitchen maid Ethne to kill Sláine in his sleep. Once the news broke out, the whole nation went into mourning at the loss of such a great leader, and Medb was captured and burnt at the stake. Níamh herself cried at the grave of Slaine, which was just a simple tombstone, unlike the large passage tombs of the older kings which was a sign of Sláine's modesty. Nest and Ukko then spent years creating a manuscript that contained the life story of Sláine MacRoth and his rise to power and his troublesome last years. Sláine may have died unhappy, but he united the kingdom, dove away the fomorians, killed the evil Drune Lord Balor and initiated an era of peace.


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gandolf3339 
Posted: 19-Nov-2008, 01:56 PM
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Just so you all know the type o's are not mine, I am just posting it the way I found it.
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gandolf3339 
Posted: 20-Nov-2008, 11:45 AM
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THE TIME OF CIVIL WARS

Since there had never been a High King before Sláine, the high Druids debated for hours and then decided that the kingship should be passed down through the lineage. Kai, Sláine's bastard son couldn't accept the kingship no matter how much he wanted to because he was a druid. So it was onto Kai's cousin Conn that the High Kingship passed. Conn never stood on the Lia Fáil and crowned king by the earth goddess, but nevertheless he was a very good High King. He followed Sláine's example and didn't rule with an iron will but rather as a generous father to the land, and let the chieftains still rule their lands. He was a fair and honest man, and had his intentions on his eldest son Connla becoming the next king. He trained Connla the ways of ruling and war, and he loved him the most out of his three sons. However, one day on patrolling the West Coast with a friend, Connla was enchanted by a beautiful fairy who wanted to take him away to her land. She was irresistable and he left Tír na nÓg, never to be seen again. Conn was deeply saddened by the loss of his son and did not what to do. He spent months searching for Connla, and the stress and worry brought him to an early grave. So Conn's second son Sengann had to take the throne, and it was clear from the outset that Sengann was not a rightful High King. It was well known that Sengann was a wierd and unstable man, and it turned out that he was possible insane. He made some bad decisions and the different chieftains of the clans were furious and wanted to replace him quickly. When they asked for him to stand on the Lia Fáil, he sent his armies to burn down their lands and soon an all out civil war began.

The first war split the kingdom into six different kingdoms, each chieftain claiming a right to the throne and bitter wars were fought between them. After roughly fifty years, the wars got worse as the smaller chieftains within the kingdoms started fighting and eventually the land of eriu was broken down into nearly three hundred separate kingdoms, which provided the framework for the small tuathaí that exist today. Around the Imperial Year of 400, the all out civil wars died down as the country's resources were completely depleted, and so the three hundred or so different Chieftains tried to live together peacefully. Even so clan blood feuds and cattle raids were still very frequent and shifts in power were common. This setup lasted for hundreds of years.
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gandolf3339 
Posted: 20-Nov-2008, 11:52 AM
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THE TIME OF PLAGUE

It was probably the disorganisation of the kingdom at that time which let the plague spread so rapidly through Tír na nÓg. It initially started in Alba when a mysterious green ship colided into the port liscrannagh. When the local militia investigated, hundreds of teeming rats poured out from the ship into the city. They quickly spread a disease amongst the people of liscrannagh and it was not long before many towns in Alba and the whole of albion were also overrun with the plague. The rats multiplied by the hundreds and once some got across the channel on some boats, the plague swept Eriu like wildfire. Once the plague had really set in and people were dying in droves, the skaven launched their attack. They overran Eriu easily and started qiping out entire towns and cities at a time. Their plan was to copletely cover Eriu and Albion with pestilence and disease in a few short years and claim them for themselves. When the kingdom was on the brink of utter destruction, one young lad killed over two hundred skaven with a simple sword and helps drive them out of Ulster. The precocious young Noble lad, Cormac MacÁide, united the whole of Eriu behind him, the ancient dividing lines not mattering anymore as survival was the most important thing. In a hidden meeting at the hill of Uisneach in Tara, it was confirmed that he should be the next High King as the Lia Fáil wailed out for him in the moonlit impromptu meeting. And so the new High King Cormac united the people of Tír na nÓg and fought valiantly with his depleted army and drove the Skaven out of Eriu. Although Eriu was recovering, Alba was still being attacked by the Skaven, so Cormac led his force across the channel in seven mighty ships as he always valued the loyalty of Alba through the years. With the combined force of the army of Alba, they quickly rid the Northern province of the Skaven. After a year or so, once the country tried to get itself back on its feet, Cormac died of the plague and was a great loss to his nation as without him, Eriu fell back into disarray and the kingdom was still split into over three hundred tuathaí.


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gandolf3339 
Posted: 21-Nov-2008, 01:02 PM
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THE HOUND OF CULANN

It wasn't until nearly the Imperial Year 1200 that the fomorians dared to venture back into this world. The Drune Lords would not help them after the last disastrous attempt and the fate of Balor, but the fomorians had found a new ally across the ocean, the Dark Elves.

Tír na nÓg had completely recovered from the terrible Skaven invasion by this time but the nation was still pretty much as it was before the coming of the plague. In the area that is now known as Ulster, there was a good and rihgteous King named Conchobar who had managed to unite many of the different Clans and was a few steps away from becoming total King of Ulster. But it was not Conchobar who would become known for uniting Ulster, but his young Nephew, Setanta. There are many stories surrounding the birth of Setanta and most agree that Devlin, Conchobar's Sister was his mother and that his Father was unknown. Other more romantic stories (and most likely untrue) say that Setanta was the son of Lugh himself and given to Devlin to care for and raise into the world. Whether this is true or not, it is a popular theory across Tír na nÓg.

One day when Setanta was seven, he was on his way over to see his uncle in the neighbouring town. Along the road he was playing with his Hurley and sliotar, and got delayed (a hurley is a long wooden stick used in the celtic sport known as hurling, and a sliotar is the small leather ball that is hit by the hurley in the game). Conchobar was taking with the local blacksmith, Culann, and was in deep discussion and forgot about Setanta. When it started getting late, as his usual precaution, Culann locked his gate and set his large hound out to guard the entrance. Setanta hurried along when he realised how dark it was getting and he rushed to the smithy once he entered the town. Setanta never noticed the hound and when he banged on the gate the hound came from around the side and lunged at his back. As quick as a fox Setanta darted around and used his Hurley to blast the sliotar at the Hound. The sliotar struck him full force in the head and killed the hound instantly. When Conchobar and Culann came out, Setanta was very apologetic and claimed he would get a new hound just as good. But Culann didn't care and was amazed that such a young boy could kill a vicous trained hound. And from that day, Setanta was renamed Cúchulainn, the Hound of Culann.

This was the first incident of many that showed Cúchulainn to be a Strong and skillful young warrior. By the age of seventeen he had gained himself the position as head of his uncle, the king's army. In a daring raid, he led the army on a massive cattle raid against CúChulainn's worst enemy queen Maeve of the tuath Cooley in North Chonnacht. They pulled off the cattle raid perfectly and managed to steal the prized black bull of the Queen herself. At this stage in Celtic history it had developed that the amount of cattle you had was a status symbol, much like gold in the Empire. So now Cúchulainn was reknowned as a major warrior with great power. It was when he was plotting a similar raid against Queen Maeve one day in the forests of West Ulster when he was approached by a zoat. He was initially startled as he had only heard of these mythical creatures in legends of his forefathers. The zoat told him that he must reunite the peoples of Tír na nÓg and re-establish the glorious kingdom that was. When he replied that he had little power and wasn't even king himself, the Zoat replied that soon he would be and that he had to use his powers to seek out the hidden four treasures and claim highkingship. At this Cúchulainn laughed and quickly the zoat vanished back into the woods and he left the place wondering if he had been dreaming. Once he reached the open road he was approcahed by a scout. He was told that Conchobar had killed his wife in a mad fit of passion as he found her sleeping with another man. He was filled with rage and killed every living member of his wife's family with his large axe. As punishment to his crimes, he was to be hung the next day and Cúchulainn would suceed him in kingship. Cúchulainn plunged into deep thought at this news and rushed back to Dún féirste where Conchobar was to be hung. Cúchulainn arrived too late and the king was already dead. When Cúchulainn recieved the new crown he immediately decided to seek out the four treasured items.

After three years of hunting for the items among the hundreds of small tuathaí in Eriu, Cúchulainn arrived in Tara and stood on the hill of uisneach with high expectations. No others opposed him and only the high druids stood to witness the event. He stood on the stone of destiny and it proclaimed him as the High King of Tír na nÓg. He met the earth goddess and she gave him the secret helm that was last worn by the late King Cormac, she told him to re-unite her broken people of Eriu and re-establish the former glory, the feasts and the merry-making that was. The druids announced the news and the majority cheered and feasted that night in CúChulainn's honour, a few were displeased with the news.

A month later Cúchulainn released the news of how he was going to govern his kingdom and re-unite the peoples. He divided the kingdom into five, the current day tuathaímhóra of Ulster, Chonnacht, Laighean, Mumhan and Alba. He stated that each province would have an ArdRí to govern it, and the smaller tuathaí would stay the same. When he announced that Queen Maeve would be the ruler of Chonnacht she was geniunely grateful as initially she was opposed to his kingship except when she saw his generosity at letting his sworn enemy rule a fifth of his kingdom she instantly forgot their differences and swore fealty to him. Although this setup worked extremely well and most people were pleased at the clever way that the land was being re-united some of the older clans were unhappy.

It was Daingean, king of the ancient Clan of the Cessair that opposed the new system. He claimed that this was not the way and that the old four ruling clans should be reinstated to rule. He claimed that Cúchulainn was not the rightful High King and that he himself shoudl be king as he was the direct descendant of Sláine MacRoth himself. Cúchulainn had no other option than to take this as a direct challenge to his authority and declared Daingean and his clan outlawed and if they resisted, they would be killed. He also added that if Daingean wish to apologise that Cuchulainn would accept it, this was very big of a Celtic king, as Cúchulainn did not want to return to the time when civil war was rampant throughout the land.

Daingean realised he would be totally outnumbered so opted for a quick strike at the heart of Cúchulainn's kingdom, the holy city of Tara. A small warband of Daingean's most elite force brok into the city and spread riot amongst its inhabitants. They started a fire and with imported cannon's from Albion, they blew holes into the holy Dún that surrounded the hill of Uisneach. After shelling the Dún, the set fire to it and then fled the city just as Cúchulainn's army was arriving back. On seeing what they had done to the holy city Cúchulainn's men went beserk and completely slaughtered the army that had attacked Tara. All but a few were killed and Cúchulainn was raging because Daingean himself had escaped. Cúchulainn would not let his men rest untill they found and killed Daingean.

Daingean and his men retreated to the Boyne valley where he would summon all he had left and attempt a last stand. The army of Eriu marched with great speed and reached the ford of the river Boyne in two days. When they arrived there was just Daingean himself, ready for a one on one fight with Cúchulainn. His entire army had deserted him, wishing to except the new way of life rather than follow this mad leader to his death. He wanted a one on one fight with Cúchulainn himself for the entire kingdom. Amazingly Cúchulainn accepted this challenge and fought the fifty fifty odds for his kingdom. In a valiant struggle Daingean nearly beat him, but the god-touched warrior ultimately won, killing the rebel with the holy sword of the moon. Peace was restored to the kingdom and the new way of life was accepted and the polictical system has not changed since then. Also a bridge was built over the Boyne, as no one would cross over the ford, believing it cursed with the spirit of the rebel Daingean.

Ten years after the civil war, Cúchulainn again claimed glory as the strong united Tír na nÓg drove off the repeated attacks of the combined Dark Elf and Fomorian forces. Eventually Cúchulainn defeated the leader of the horde himself, the Fomorian Lord Nardul. The Fomorians fled and decided to attack Norsca instead, but the Dark Elves had found a new island to try and conquer and over the next few hundred years, Dark elf raids on the west coast were common.

Cúchulainn lived for another seventy years and remained youthfull to the very end. He was reknowned as the only High King to die of natural causes and not killed by another hand. With his help, the druids fully established the Brehon Laws and some of the more stranger clauses were removed. He died a happy man, and he died with no heir except the nation itself which he had brought back from the storm and re-united.

It was also around this period when the Norrans first invaded Albion. The Norrans were an offset of the Norse who didn't want to stay in the cold harsh conditions of their homeland and left to go and conquer someone else's land. They easily overran the not quite Celtic Albion mainland, and whatever Celts there were left in Albion fled North to Alba. The Norrans were a week and greedy race that enjoyed conquering other lands. They initially despised the Celts for giving such harsh resistance but eventually they lived to co-exist peacefully, but many Norrans still plotted an invasion into Eriu.

One such chance came along when the Norrans captured the large port of Dubh-Linn on the East coast of Eriu. It was already a trader's port set up initially by the Norse, so the Norrans felt they had the right to take it. Since most Celts didn't like Dubh-Linn and it's people they let it go by but they didn't realise they had made a serious mistake. About fifty years later, the Imperial Year of 1345 to be precise, the Norrans launched a full scale invasion. Like many races beforehand, they completely underestimated the power of the Celtic army and although they held a large area of Laighean for about twenty years, they were gradually pushed back and they retreated to Dubh-Linn. After the fiasco of that colony attempt, many Norrans left Dubh-Linn for Albion and in their place came many Celts and Dubh-Linn grew more Celtic. However many of the Norrans, ashamed at their defeat never forgot that colony attempt and wanted revenge. Nearly a century later, the ArdRí of Laighean, king Rudraige declared Dubh-Linn the new príomhrath of Laighean in a very controversial move. He wanted to strengthen the city that left them opento attack, but many Celts saw Rudraige leaving Cúchulainn's old town to another one which they felt was Norran.


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gandolf3339 
Posted: 22-Nov-2008, 09:36 AM
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FIONN and the FIANNA

A few centuries later, there was a great leader named Cumhal in Ulster. After the death of the ArdRí of Ulster who left no heir, there was a great conflict to see who would be the next king. The two chieftains who had the most support were Cumhal and Morraithe of the Borán clan. By the brehon laws, if there was no heir to the throne, the Ardrí would declare his Tánaiste, a second in command who would succeed him. It was said that in the old king Duncan's last few hours he declared his tanaiste to be Cumhal and signed a legal document with his consent. Morraithe was furious at this news and he hired a band of warriors to break into the king's dún and destroy the document so that noone would know that Cumhal was to be the next king.

When the document was destroyed, Cumhal defended his honour and declared a blood feud with the Borán clan. However, Cumhal was doomed with this challenge, as the Borán clan were much bigger and had a much larger warband. His fate was worsened when his druid told him that he had a curse upon his fate and that if he ever married, the day after he would die. And so with a sad head Cumhal went off with his small warband to defend his honour and possibly kill Morraithe whom he hated so much. During one of the small skirmishes it was announced that Cumhal had died and his clan was shocked. A triumphant Morraithe marched in on his home town, razed his dún and claimed the clan's land as his own.

Cumhal's two sisters were intrigued by Cumhal's sudden death and set about investigating at what had happened to him. They visited the battlefield where he had been slain and on finding his body they gave him a proper grave. They then began retracing his steps the fe days before the battle. Following his tracks the realised he ahd taken a detour into a wood nearby, they followed the tracks and found a small farmers house at the edge of the wood. The farmer shouted to them to get off his lands but they protested saying that they were Cumhal's sisters. At this news he brought them in and introduced Cumhal's siters to the farmers daughter, who was a fair young maiden. On asking who she was, the girl replied that she was Cumhal's wife. The shocked sisters couldn't believe it, but they had to sice the prophecy had come through. Cumhal's wife explained that they had married in secret to hide the knowledge so hopefully the prophecy would not come true, and then she broke down and started to cry, blaming herself for Cumhal's death. The farmer told the sisters that members of the borán clan had similar thoughts and had come investiagting several times over the last couple of days. So to keep Cumhal's wife, Lurien, safe the sister's took her with them. They found a forest on the edge of the old lands of Cumhal and built a house there to live in secrecy from the Borán clan.

They soon discovered that Lurien was pregnant and she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, and just to add a final curse to the whole sorry affair, Lurien died while giving birth to the boy. The sisters were shocked and did not know what to do, and eventually took it to themselves to raise the boy in the forest. Like many a hero before him he was a strong and fit young lad. He could swim like an eel, run faster than a wild stag and wrestle a bear to death, he was truly blessed by the Gods. As he grew older he eventually learned of what had happened to his clan and especially his father. He decided at the age of twelve that he would leave the forest and stop being a burden to his gracious Aunts. In the end they let him go and before he left they realised his parents never gave him a name and so they gave him the nickname they had always called him, Fionn (which means fair headed) because of his shiny crop of blonde hair.

And so Fionn Mac Cumhal left the forest he was raised in and tred to make a life for himself, always hiding his true identity. He got many jobs here and there but always had to leave after a while because eventually people realised who he really was, or sometimes they just shunned him because he was usually better than most people at things, and they hated that.
Eventually he ended up wandering outside of Ulster trying to find any work he could. He travelled for months and eventually reached the river Boyne in Laighean. There he found the old poet Finegas. Finegas was a very old, but very respected man across Tír na nÓg. He was well known for being an intelligent man and a potent scholar and poet. He took Fionn under his wing and Fionn was honoured at being allowed to help such a great man. Fionn wondered why he was living a solitary life, fishing by the boyne and after weeks of building up the courage to ask Finegas why, he told the young lad that he was waiting to catch the Salmon of knowledge. Fionn thought this was nonsense or some sort of riddle but one day Finegas came back from the river to the little hut they lived in with a grin on his face an a massive rainbow coloured salmon in his arms. "This, my boy" he shouted "is the Salmon of knowledge! Anyone who eats from it will be able to forsee the future and have knowledge that surpasses even people like me..." he laughed and joked and Fionn was honestly surprised as he had never seen the old poet so happy. He was instructed to fry the salmon and not eat one tiny morsel of it, while Finegas went out to get more food for a feast. Fionn carried out his orders dutifully and fried the great salmon in a big frying pan and did not dare to try any. While it was cooking a blob of fat flew off the pan and burnt his thumb, Fionn jerked it back and stuck his thumb in his mouth to cool it. The instant he did it a vision filled his head, he saw himself, much older, leading a great army of Celts and on his head was the great crown of the High Kings. The vision faded and he knew what had happened, and when Finegas returned he explained the whole thing to him. "Then you know," he sighed " Yes, Fionn, you are destined to become High King of your land". Brooding with heavy thoughts they both ate the Salmon together as there was no preventing Fionn's gift now. A few days later he thanked the old poet and left for Tara.

Fionn throughout his life had never been a quitter, and now he realised he was destined to be a great lord, like his father could have been. He rode to Tara and realised there was a great feast going on. All were invited to the feats as the King of Laighean was celebrating a good harvest in the sacred hall, to join in the festivites both the king of Mumhan and Chonnacht were joining in the feast. At the feast Fionn met a member of his father's old warband, a veteran warrior named Ferdia who had been second in command after his father. They talked for hours about both warriors exploits as an exile and Ferdia showed Fionn the spear that he carried with him wherever he would go, he claimed it was his father's spear and that it rightfully should be Fionn's. Just as Ferdia passed over the spear, the gates of the hall burst open and in strode Morraithe and his elite warband. "I hear the three other tuathaímhóra have been having fun without me!" he cried out in laughter. Most of the other kings and chieftains disliked his company and he was purposely not invited to the feast. Fionn looked across the hall and he saw the man he was brought up to hate, the man who killed his father. Without thinking of it he lunged the spear across the hall and it landed straight through Morraithe's heart. The hall went completely silent and all eyes were on this young man who had just slain the high king of Ulster. The King of Laighean asked who he was and he claimed he was Fionn, son of Cumhal and the rightful heir to the High Kingship of Tír na nÓg. Many of the nobles laughed in response to this, but the high kings of the tuathaímhóra were silent. One by one they marched out into the courtyard and Fionn followed, confident from the vision he saw. The marched out of the hall and up to the hill at the centre by the newly built temple of the Druids. They followed the age old tradition and placed the stone and the Cauldron on the hill and then took turns to stand on the stone with the Sword and the Spear. The Lia Fáil kept silent until the true high King, Fionn MacCumhal stood on it.

When the four lords returned to the feast most were amazed to find the news that the land had a new high king, and many were upset especially because they hardly knew the new High King. However they were all in glad in some ways, especially because it gave them a reason to continue the feast long into the night! All the other previous High King's had rulled from the Dún in Tara and acted as an overlord in controlling the country. Since the dún was destroyed centuries beforehand by Daingean, and the city had become a religious centre, Fionn proposed another plan. He may have been noble born, but he knew nothing of etiquette and ruling a kingdom. Instead he knew he was a charismatic leader, a good fighter who knew what it was like to suffer and to face hardship. He thought that the separate kings could govern the land fine without him standing over their shoulders every other minute. And so he set up the Fianna, a small band of warriors that would be his elite warband and he would roam the land that he was the high king of, visit his people, help them in any way and help train new fighters into the natioanl army. And so it was that Fionn Mac Cumhal became a revolutionary new ruler, a diplomatic, strong man who could forsee the future and get in touch with the common born peasant. His warband, the Fianna did end up roaming the land and as they road from town to town getting every chieftain to swear loyalty and giving the commoners a chance to see their lord, every now and again they would find a hardened warrior who they thought was good enough to join the band. And so the Fianna built up, from a small band of twelve elite subjects to the king, to a small army of sixty riders.
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Camac
Posted: 22-Nov-2008, 01:03 PM
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Gandolf;

My Friend your stories are very entertaining but you must remember they are tales from Irish Foklore and although the Irish are Celtic these stories are not really Celtic History. Some of the stories would have been transported to Alba when the Scots invaded and wrested the country from the Picts and drove the welsh speaking people of south western Scotland out. The stories of Arthur were taken with these people and over the centuries slowly became Welsh Folk lore. The tales from Ireland would have been mixed in with those of the Picts and so corrupted. The rest of the Celtic people such as the Brettons, Cornish, and Galatians would have their own stories to tell. It is difficult to record the history of a culture per se as each group within that culture would have their own stories and events to record.

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gandolf3339 
Posted: 22-Nov-2008, 04:17 PM
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Camac,
Just to clarify the title of this thread, This was the title that was given this group of stories when I found it, If I would have known more about these tales I would have most likely called this thread Celtic History as told in Ireland as that would have been a more appropriate title or tales from Tír na nÓg wich would have really lost people.

hopefully I can do more research on these other folklore areas you have mentioned so we can compare them and see how much differences and likes there are

I messed up two other times in this posting as I tried to put it in the Generial MK catagorie but Lady-of-Avalon caught my mistake and movied it twice to get it where it is.

I do thank you for pointing out these facts for other readers, I am new to this forum posting thing, you and Lady-of-Avalon are teaching me how to do things properly and I thank you both for that.

Just proves you are never to old to learn and that is one of the great parts of life, that and trout fishing(lol).

And tonight I will raise my glass of Cutty Sark, My favorite Scottish Import to my new Celtic friend.
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